The Beaver Dam High School cross country team will be sending a pair of runners to the WIAA Division One State Meet in Hartland on Saturday.
Senior Gavin Czarnecki qualified his fourth straight state meet with a third place finish at Wyona Park near Portage last weekend at the Sectional. Czarnecki has improved his standing at the state meet every year he has competed. His freshman year, Czarnecki was 55th with a time of 16:46. At the 2018 meet during his sophomore season he was 42nd with a time of 16:31. Czarnecki finished in 15th place at the state meet last year with a time of 16:14.
“He (Czarnecki) knows what he’s got to do.” Coach PJ Senn told DailyDodge.com. “He’s a mature senior athlete and a great kid. He’s very strategic and he knows what he needs to do in order put down the times he wants to do. I’m really excited to see how he does this weekend. I think he’s got a lot of gas left in the tank of what he can do and I think he’s really going to come out and try to preform to the best of his ability at this state meet coming up on Saturday.”
Freshman Makenzi Gritzmacher had an impressive run at the Sectional this past weekend, finishing in 6th place with a time of 20:06 to earn a spot at State. That was a full :20 seconds faster than her Sub-Sectional run on the same course earlier in the week.
“She’s improving left and right here. It’s been awesome to watch her.” Senn said. “Obviously, she’s wanted to be running with Kylie (Hackbarth), Kylie’s out, but I think she’s really excited to get the opportunity to go the state meet regardless and get to run. We are very proud about how she’s been doing especially as a freshman this year.”
Fellow freshman Kylie Hackbarth was the Sub-Sectional champion and was not able to race on Saturday because of COIVD contact tracing. Coach Senn says he was proud of the team reacted to the news of losing one of their teammates. He says instead of getting discouraged they used that as motivation to run their best for her.
The WIAA State Cross Country Meet is usually held at The Ridges Golf Course in Wisconsin Rapids, but this year the Division One meet will be held at Hartland Arrowhead as the WIAA decided to hold each Division’s races at different sites. Coach Senn says that he and Gritzmacher are not too familiar with the course but Czarnecki has run the course before and expects it to be fast.
Click the link to hear a full interview wit Beaver Dam Cross County Coach PJ Senn.
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